From the Washington State Park's Page [www.parks.wa.gov/474/Beacon-Rock]: Beacon Rock offers excellent opportunities for rock climbing, and is considered to be some of the very best "Traditional Climbing" in the northwest. Climbers do need to be aware of where and when they climb due to management restrictions. Only the NW corner is open to climbing year round. The east face is closed year round due to environmental sensitivity. The rest of Beacon Rock is closed to rock climbing from February 1 to mid July annually to protect sensitive wildlife habitat. Call the park at (509) 427-8265 for more information.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
Airy views of the Columbia gorge, good rock, and superb climbing make this route a classic and THE most popular route at Beacon Rock. Almost every climbable weekend will see ascents.
Finding the start of this route can be a challenge. Go down the climbers trail on the East side of Beacon. After turning the corner watch for a rise in terrain. Just past the rise the route starts in a right angling corner.
Pitch 1: 5.6 Climb up the right leaning corner and then up a crack to a nice ledge. Be careful pulling onto the ledge as there may be loose rocks. Belay from a bolted anchor
Pitch 2: 5.2R Traverse down a few feet and then straight right for a pitch. Belay at bolted anchors. Pro is sparse but the climbing is easy.
Pitch 3: 5.7 From the anchor go straight up and then pull a steep mantle (crux) heading up right on cracks up a slab. Continue up and turn the corner. End on a nice ledge with a nice tree. Please try to not belay off the tree as there is some debate as to its health.
Pitch 4: 5.5 Continue up a series of ledges with short boulder problems. Be careful not to knock rocks off these ledges. A full ropelength will take you bolted anchors. Rappel here with double ropes or. . .
Pitch 5: 5.6 Continue left until you get to a V-notch in the rock. Move up here. There are several options here. Either head up right or go straight up. Belay on boulder.
Pitch 6: From here scramble up 3rd and 4th class climbing up and left through weaknesses in the rock until you get to the paved hikers path.
Pitch 5: To add to the authors good description; there is a stance at the V-notch to set up a belay, which can be the belay for the 4th pitch. Above this spot is a small pine tree that you will want to aim for - just behind it is the off-width that you will use to get up to the long, right leaning ramp. At the top of the off-width and at the start of the ramp you can set up the belay, the 5th overall.
Start the 6th pitch be heading up right on the ramp. There is a bolt about 60 feet up. Clip it and continue right around a corner and onto an exposed and cool face that can be climbed up with bolts or all the way around to the right. (As the author stated, there are other options besides this to gain the summit).
I would suggest having some kind of rope signals, or two way radios if you are doing this climb. It was almost inmpossible to communicate with the leader when we did this between the wind and trains rolling by... I suppose that is good advice for any climb that traverses a lot like this one...
By Peter Franzen Administrator From: Phoenix, AZ Oct 20, 2008 rating: 5.75a15V+13MVS 4b
I found the 1st and 3rd pitches to be enjoyable, but the rest was totally forgettable.
The "bolt" on the 6th pitch is an ancient rusty 3/16 thing with a sheet metal hanger. This pitch is essentially a free solo but barely 5.3. Also the the fixed pin and bolt variation on the final pitch is the final pitch for Young Warriors as well. Many colorful characters regularly do solo laps on this route. If your thinking of doing with your 5 friends go sport climbing instead. Besides the third pitch the final ridge is my favorite.
Quite an adventure! This is a very popular route (we climbed on a Friday and were the 2nd of 5 parties to climb all or part of this route). The "company" was helpful though for our first time up this route, as it provided for some valuable "live beta" from the "veterans."
I've read in some guide books that the published ratings for Beacon Rock are a bit "stiff" and I would agree here. At least for a personal first ascent, consider adding a notch to any of the published ratings (i.e. the first pitch felt more like 5.7, the third pitch felt more like 5.8 or even higher if you choose the wrong path to get over the bulge at the start, the fourth through sixth pitches all have some moves that could argueably go for 5.6 - 5.7, etc.)
Expect to commit a FULL day to this climb due to length, crowds and for a first time ascent, route finding.
I didnt see any anchors at the top of pitch 5. Perhaps we missed them, however there are ample opportunities to sling a tree or build an anchor. A handfull of random pins can be found on the face. If you think you are off-route on the higher pitches look for the pruned trees. Fun climb.
This is a great climb for newer climbers just starting on multi-pitch routes. I just took a new climber - he's "climbed" in gyms, and has bouldered, but never lead or placed pro - up last weekend.
It is worth repeating that the 3rd pitch has some really fine spots: the crux move (it truly is only 5.7, maybe plus at a stretch, and just a move at that), and my favorite the sloping ramp just past the crux. I highly recommend to remember to chill out a bit when in the middle of that ramp. For new climbers, it provides a good feeling of exposure, yet there are great little ledges where you can just stand there for awhile and thoroughly enjoy the stance and view. In fact, although it is not done, it might be cool to set up a belay right there on that ramp just for the fun of it!
That 3rd pitch is also instructional in terms of proper pro placement and use of runners to alleviate potential rope drag, which can be significant if not considered there.
Time: <4 hours including walk in and trail back to car, provided you know the route. We were up and back to the car in 3 hours on a sunny day.